As top UC Berkeley officials lead an ambitious effort to reshape the nation's premier public research institution, they are facing increasingly fierce reactions from their usual allies — the faculty.
Chancellor Nicholas Dirks announced in February that the flagship University of California campus would need to reinvent itself to cope with a $150-million budget deficit and the likelihood that state financial support will not return to the more generous levels of the past.
But many professors say they have been largely left out of the early planning efforts, counter to Berkeley's long tradition of joint decision-making between administrators and faculty.
At a testy Academic Senate meeting with Dirks last week, professors complained the process has been shrouded in secrecy. They say few details about the school's deficit, budget reduction targets, plans to redesign academic programs and other key issues have been disclosed. The Office of Strategic Initiatives, formed in February to lead the campus transformation process, was disparaged for failing to seek wide input from the 2,200 professors, lecturers and other instructors on campus...